10th Annual “Little Mo” Nationals sponsored by Church’s Chicken Top Seeds Announced

Dallas…This week, the youngest and brightest stars in tennis will be playing in the “Little Mo” Nationals at the Austin Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas from October 20-22, 2007. The event will be hosted by the Austin Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas and presented by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation. Brian Notis is the Tournament Director and Deb Cahill is the Assistant Tournament Director.

The “Little Mo” Nationals is the only national event in the United States for boys and girls 8, 9, 10 and 11 & under and is the culmination of the yearlong “Road to the Little Mo Nationals” circuit. The circuit began with over 1,500 youngsters nationwide participating and the top 128 will be featured at the Nationals. The matches will begin on Saturday morning, October 20 at 8:00 am and continue through Monday, October 22.

For 30 years, the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation has organized the “Little Mo” to further junior tennis development for boys and girls. In 1992, a young Andy Roddick, age 10, won the “Little Mo” tournament when it was a Texas-only event. Andy won the U.S. Open in 2003 and considers the “Little Mo” his first “big win”. Andy gives each “Little Mo” Nationals player a personally autographed card each year. In 1998, the foundation expanded the “Little Mo” nationwide and created the “Road to the Little Mo Nationals” circuit.

Last year, the circuit expanded to an international level with the 1st annual “Little Mo” International Open for all players who are 11 & under worldwide (123 players representing 17 different countries participated). The 2nd annual “Little Mo” International Open will be held at the Austin Tennis Academy in Austin, Texas from December 5-9, 2007. (entry forms are available on www.mcbtennis.org)

The “Road to the Little Mo Nationals” began in the spring with a “Little Mo” tournament held in each of the seventeen sections. The quarterfinalists from each age division at each Sectional advanced to one of the four “Little Mo” Regionals held in the summer in Atlanta, Georgia (East), Dallas, Texas (South), Homewood, Illinois (North), and San Diego, California (West).

The prestigious “Little Mo” Nationals draw will be made up of the top 16 players from across the country (the four semifinalists from the four Regionals in boys and girls 8, 9, 10, and 11 & under.) The winner of each age division will be crowned “Little Mo” National Champion.

The Opening Ceremony will begin at 5:00 pm on Friday, October 19 at the Austin Tennis Academy. The players will parade onto center court behind the flags and will sing the national anthem. Joyce Pierce, former singer with the Fifth Dimension touring group and mother of Aron Pierce, a “Little Mo” player, will sing the national anthem. Prior to the ceremony, Henri Elkins will entertain the crowd with his amazing “Bijou Tennis Show”. It is a unique production combining tennis skills and comedy.

On Saturday evening, the player pizza party will be held at the Austin Tennis Academy. The party gives the players a chance to meet players from other cities around the country and also enjoy a night of fun with games and prizes.

The #1 seeded players are:

  • Girls 11: Gabriella Umoquit – Mission, TX
  • Girls 10: Karina Traxler – Rockwall, TX
  • Girls 9: Ingrid Neel – Rochester, MN
  • Girls 8: Dominique Schaefer – Ventura, CA
  • Boys 11: Jordi Arconada – Rio Piedras, PR
  • Boys 10: Kyle Seelig – Hatfield, PA
  • Boys 9: Titus Strom – Plano, TX
  • Boys 8: Noah Schachter – Steilacoom, WA

The “Little Mo” tournaments are sponsored by the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation in memory of its tennis champion namesake, Maureen Connolly, who was known as “Little Mo”. She was the first woman to win the Grand Slam at only 18 years of age in 1953. She is still the youngest and only American woman to have accomplished this magnificent feat. The MCB Tennis Foundation has promoted junior tennis development for forty years and continues to benefit countless numbers of boys and girls throughout the country. Smackers, a product of the Bonne Bell Company, is the “Official Lip Balm” of the “Little Mo” Nationals. Other sponsors include Balle de Match and Golfsmith.

For more information, call the MCB office (214) 352-7978 or email: Cartennis@aol.com

Also, please visit www.usta.com to view the draws and results: ID #809658207.